The SmarK Rant for WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 – 02.21.21
Live from THE AWARD WINNING WWE THUNDERDOME
Your hosts are the usual people getting yelled at by Vince in their earpieces.
Smackdown Chamber: Cesaro v. Jey Uso v. Baron Corbin v. Sami Zayn v. Daniel Bryan v. Kevin Owens
Winner faces Roman Reigns for the title later on tonight. Lady Ref sends Sami’s documentary crew away before the match, which only feeds into his conspiracy theory if we’re being honest here. We start with Cesaro and Daniel Bryan and Cesaro immediately puts him down for two with a pair of shoulderblocks. Tilt a whirl backbreaker gets two. Bryan fights back with the kicks and they trade forearms, but Bryan backdrops him into the chain link and then follows with a flying knee off the top. Back in, Bryan gets a missile dropkick for two and they head to the top, where Bryan brings him down with a rana and both guys are down after a clothesline. Cesaro goes for the knee, but Bryan reverses to an armbar. Cesaro tries to power out of that, but Bryan takes him down by the arm again and Cesaro has to fight out of it. They trade forearms and Cesaro wins that battle and hits him with a delayed suplex for two as the period expires at 5:10. Nice little opening sequence there.
Baron Corbin is the next guy in as we get a funny bit of audio, with Sami going “NOT MINE NOT MINE NOT MINE!” while they build to the pod opening, and Baron beats on Bryan on one side of the ring and then throws Cesaro around on the other. Bryan comes back with dropkicks on the other two, but then Cesaro gets his own running forearms in the corners until Corbin hits both guys with a Deep Six for two on Bryan. Corbin runs Bryan into Sami’s pod (“Keep him away from my pod!”) while Owens advises him to “Bring him into the ring, put a hold on him and make him tap”. Corbin continues slowly working on both guys and slams Bryan for two. Finally Sami Zayn is next in at 10:20. Isn’t it supposed to be 5:00 opening and then 3:00 periods? Because 5:00 of heat for Corbin was WAY too much. Sami takes his time getting in and trashtalks Corbin, but Cesaro hauls him out of the pod and starts beating on him with forearms. But Sami manages to fight off Corbin and goes after Bryan, but misses the kick and hits KO’s pod instead. Bryan goes up and Corbin brings him down with a superplex, while Zayn hits a tornado DDT on Cesaro for two. They fight to the top of a pod and slug it out, and Sami moves across the cage to escape, only for Cesaro to hang off the roof and boot him off. But then Corbin the buzzkiller pulls Cesaro down and takes him out, and chokeslams Bryan as well. Cesaro sends him into the post and hits the corkscrew forearm off the middle rope, and then gets the Giant Swing into the Sharpshooter to put him away at 17:43.
So finally, 8:00 after the last entrant, Kevin Owens is into the match at 18:15. Sami immediately proposes a truce with KO and that ends badly for him, and Owens runs wild on Bryan and Cesaro and slams Bryan onto Cesaro for two. Zayn and Owens fight on the top and Owens hits him with a superkick after they get to the mat, and Owens gives everyone cannonballs in the corners. And then everyone trade finishers and they’re all out. Owens with a neckbreaker on Zayn for two, and then one on Bryan for two. Jey Uso is the last one in at 23:10 and Owens immediately attacks him and rams him into the cage and smashes a pod door open. Everyone piles up on the apron and Owens moonsaults them off a pod and then stuns Sami for the pin at 25:30. We get an inventive spot as Jey manages to trap KO’s arm in the door while it’s closing, and he hits him with superkicks while he’s helpless and then finishes him off with the frog splash at 26:41. Jey charges Cesaro and walks into the forearm, and Cesaro hits a flying elbow for two off that. Back to the apron and Cesaro swings Uso into the cage a few times for fun, and then catches a diving Bryan and dumps him into the ring. He goes up and Bryan hits him with a kick on the way down and follows with a backslide for two. Head kick gets two. Bryan tries the knee and Cesaro catches him, but Bryan rolls out of the slam and kicks Cesaro down again. Bryan goes up and Cesaro brings him down with a forearm and follows with an exploding gutbuster and a Giant Swing on the bad knee. But then Uso breaks it up with a superkick and splashes Cesaro for the pin at 32:41. That leaves Bryan, and Uso splashes him for two. Uso goes to the top of the pod this time and tries a flying splash from there, but Bryan gets the knees up to block, hits the running knee, and wins the Chamber at 34:11. Match kind of dragged for most of the early part thanks to the extended intervals but the stuff with Cesaro and Bryan was all really good. ***1/2
Universal title: Roman Reigns v. Daniel Bryan
Roman immediately tries the spear, but Bryan hooks him in the Yes Lock and Roman powers out of it and pummels him on the mat. Like he DESTROYS Bryan with MMA elbows and then powerbombs him and leaves him twitching. And then the guillotine finishes him off at 1:32. This was pretty much what everyone expected out of the match, I’m thinking. I’m glad that Bryan at least won a match before sacrificing himself yet again. And then Edge hits the ring and spears him, pointing to the sign to reveal that his choice has been made and he truly has a clear path to Wrestlemania, which is the showcase of the immortals and the granddaddy of them all.
Meanwhile, 24/7 champ Bad Bunny meets up with the Miz backstage and they get into a shoving match, but then Bunny hides behind Damian Priest.
United States title: Bobby Lashley v. Matt Riddle v. John Morrison
I guess JoMo is subbing for Keith Lee due to Covid, although I’m not sure why we need this to be a three-way if one of the guys is out. Lashley beats on Riddle in the corner and then tosses Morrison around and beats on him as well before clotheslining Riddle to the floor. Morrison hits Lashley with kicks but gets sent to the floor, and Lashley beats on Riddle out there as well. Back in, Lashley with a neckbreaker on Riddle and he fights off both geek midcarders and clears the ring again. Finally Riddle and Morrison team up on Lashley in the corner, but he takes them out effortlessly again. Finally Riddle manages to take Lashley to the floor with a rana and follows with a moonsault, but Morrison sends Riddle into the post for two. They do some sloppy grappling and Riddle gets a Pele kick and makes a comeback with a senton and german suplex for two. Lashley finally comes back in and Riddle moonsaults him, mostly missing, and then Morrison hits Starship Pain and also mostly misses that, and that gets two on Lashley. Finally Morrison goes after the one-legged MVP and steals his crutch, but walks into the full nelson like a complete dweeb. But Riddle breaks it up with the crutch and hits the Bro Derek on Morrison for the pin and the title at 8:45. Ah, that’s why they had to make it a three-way, so Lashley didn’t have to do the job. Match was a complete mess with the two challengers looking like jobbers and most of the stuff missing. The whole finishing sequence in particular was really awful and mistimed. And when Riddle wins the title, it’s not a big deal because he’s the champion, it’s a big deal because now he might go to Wrestlemania! *1/2
Women’s tag team titles: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax v. Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair
I guess the challengers are the Boss-i-Est. Belair starts with Jax and slips out of a slam attempt, and Sasha comes in with kicks but Nia throws her at Bianca, who catches Sasha and allows her to kick Nia. Shayna comes in and Sasha gets the double knees for two, but she goes to the apron and Nia knocks her off to take over. Shayna works the arm and boots Sasha out of the corner for two, and a clothesline gets two. Jax with a slam for two and she goes to a sleeper, but Sasha rolls out of it and rolls up Shayna for two. Another pair of rollups get two. Backslide gets two. Belair comes in and tries the KOD, but Shayna reverses to the choke, so Banks breaks it up and hits Shayna with a frog splash for two. Bianca hits the KOD on Shayna this time, but Nia saves and hits Belair with a spinebuster for two. Nia with a samoan drop on Bianca, but Banks comes in with a Meteora on Jax for two. This brings out Reginald for some reason while Banks gets the Bank Statement on Nia, but Reginald gives her a bottle of champagne, and while she’s all confused Nia hits the samoan drop for the pin at 9:30 to retain. This was not particularly good and didn’t feel like it would have had much heat even with a real crowd. I’m not even particularly sure what the point of the match even was. Why not do the match with the Dusty Classic winners here to make it seem like the tournament actually matters? *1/2
Meanwhile, MVP strikes some kind of a deal with The Miz backstage.
WWE title, Elimination Chamber: Drew McIntrye v. Sheamus v. AJ Styles v. Randy Orton v. Jeff Hardy v. Kofi Kingston
We start with Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy and Jeff dropkicks him into a pod, but Orton thumbs him in the eye. His real eye or the painted one? Orton goes to a chinlock at 1:30, setting a new record for himself, but Hardy fights out and misses a charge. Back to the chinlock, but Jeff comes back with a splash for two. Drew is in at 4:23 after that horrible opener and he runs wild on both guys, thankfully. He chokes out Orton on the cage and tosses Hardy to the apron for a slam out there and then rams him into Kofi’s pod. And then he snarks “I told you to move” at the cameraman for good measure. Orton takes out both guys and beats on Drew as Kofi Kingston is next in at 8:28. Oh sure, THIS one they’re doing short intervals. Probably because most of the guys in the match need to get to bed early. Kofi quickly rolls up Orton for the pin at 8:58 to eliminate him, so Orton hits everyone with RKOs while Omos rips AJ out of his pod and I guess he’s in the match now at 9:51. Adam Pearce throws Omos out of the match while Drew sends Hardy into a pod, but Kofi takes him out with the SOS. AJ with a brainbuster on Kofi for two and really there didn’t end up being any point to AJ coming in early because it didn’t allow him to pin anyone. Kofi sends AJ to the apron, but Drew gets a suplex for two. Drew suplexes Kofi into the cage and then brings in AJ for a backdrop. Finally Hardy returns from the void he had fallen into, and Drew hits him with a neckbreaker for two. Sheamus is last in at 15:56.
Drew and Sheamus slug it out and fight to the apron, but everyone fights back in the ring again. Sheamus beats on Kofi with forearms, but Kofi goes up and Sheamus cuts him off and everyone kind of piles up in the corner for our requisite Tower of Doom spot. And then Kofi comes off a pod with a dive and gets some assorted two counts off that. Sheamus charges Kofi and misses, but Kofi goes up and Sheamus catches that and finishes him off with the Brogue Kick at 23:52. Jeff Hardy runs wild and hits everyone with Twists of Fate and he goes up to the top of a pod and dives onto Drew and Sheamus, but then goes up again and hits AJ with a swanton, only for Drew to hit the Claymore at 25:32. That was a weird sequence, with Jeff completely changing his mind after setting up the big spot. Sheamus hits Drew with a knee to the head for two and White Noise as both guys are down, and AJ comes in with a springboard senton on Drew for two. I don’t think that one went the way he wanted. So he does it again, hitting a proper 450 this time, and that gets two. Sheamus beats on AJ with the forearms and goes up with a flying clothesline, but Drew cuts off the Brogue Kick with a DDT. Why not just let him hit the kick on AJ and pin him? Drew sets up the Claymore, but Sheamus counters with the Brogue Kick, and AJ hits the Forearm out of nowhere for the pin at 30:34. So we’re left with AJ and McIntyre. AJ springboards in, but Drew catches him with the Claymore to retain at 31:22. This was way too long, and it felt like it was artificially stretched out to fill time or something. And they spent all that time building up to the Sheamus heel turn and then just beat him in the Chamber match? ***
And then this brings out Lashley, who spears Drew and runs him into the post and the announcers are HORRIFIED. Wait, so it’s OK when Edge did it to Roman Reigns earlier? What a double standard. Lashley destroys Drew in the ring and lays him out with the full nelson to put him out, at which point Miz hits the ring and cashes in.
WWE title: Drew McIntyre v. The Miz
Miz hits the short DDT and gets two, and the Skull Crushing Finale wins the title at 0:45. Oh, joy, THE MIZ is champion again. The guy feuding with the rapper.
Not a good show this month. Both Chamber matches felt really stretched out and there wasn’t anything on the undercard worth going out of your way to see. Also, THE MIZ ended the show as the champion with the same cliché cash-in that they always do.